Baby Advisor

In 2016 I was a local Target’s Baby Advisor.  It was truly the happiest job I’ve ever had,  I just adored it.  Sadly it was a pilot program that they chose not to keep.  But for a year I got to keep a department stocked and neat all the while helping parents find what they need… 40 hours a week.  But my favorite part of the job was helping a new parent register for their shower.

Of course, to do this properly I was smart enough to drag my mother in to help me in the world of babies.  A world I’d passed out of 13 years ago, now that my sons were teens!  And since she is one of the world authorities on babies and breastfeeding for 40 years, now teaching the next doctor generation as USC, my mother gave me lots of great advice to pass on to parents.   Today, I’m working a different position and cannot give this advice out any longer.  So I thought I’d do a blog post.  After all, I have several co-worker’s who are expecting!!    Ah, but where to start.  I know….. let’s start with chemicals!

Stay away from Lavender!!!  Tons of baby products now contain lavender as a “way to make a baby sleep” but a newborn’s skin is so thin it is practically porous and it has recently be determined that lavender, when absorbed into baby’s skin, is an endocrine disruptor.  So that product will go and mess with the baby’s hormones.  Oh, and the way lavender “calms”…it slows a heart rate.  NOT a good thing for a newborn.  Save it for when baby is much older.

And on that ‘newborn baby’s thin skin’ note… you do NOT need to put diaper cream on baby as a “preventative”…that is a petroleum product baby’s absorbing into his system.  You do NEED 1 tube of diaper cream but it must be 40% zinc oxide.  Anything less and it won’t be strong enough to be an effective barrier to protect baby’s skin.  So IF baby gets a rash, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water (baby wipes won’t be enough) and coat the area with 40% zinc oxide…every diaper change… until baby’s skin heals itself.  And any wash you use should have as few ingredients as possible.  And you don’t need lotion.  If baby’s skin is a little flaky that is normal skin shedding, don’t put a product on that baby’s body will absorb.

Most people wanted my opinion on brands… and the most I could give them was what other people told me because these brands didn’t exist when my kids were babies.  TONS of parents loved the wipes of 7th Generation, but not so much the diapers.  What I advised was to get a small packet of ALL the brands because they weren’t going to know which diaper or wipe would work best on baby’s skin or bum until baby was out.  Register for it all in small packets to try and large packets to either use or bring back for credit to buy what DID work.  PAD that registry because you’re going to need LOTS of diapers & you might as well let your friends buy them.

Let’s talk car seats and strollers.  These are completely a personal preference.  But in making your choices, know a few facts.  A car seat carrier can seem convenient but baby will grow out of it by around 12 months.  As soon as their head gets to within 1 inch of the top they are too big for it and you’ll need a full car seat.  Also realize that ALL car seats meet federal standards so your choice may be based on how wide it is, what does the material feel like, how many car seat stages does it do (there are 4), does it recline and… iconic to this day age…how many cup holders does it have.   And when choosing a stroller, go try it out if you can.  These days they’re much more versatile than they used to be.  Just a note on jogger strollers.  Guys love these because they look big and cool.. but ask yourself, will I REALLY be jogging WITH my baby….because those joggers are heavy!  And unless you’re ONLY using it when you jog, they are impractical for every day use.

DO make sure you also get the wearable baby carriers.  Because on Mom or Dad is the true natural habitat for baby.  You’ve seen those babies wearing the helmets?  That’s because baby spent too much time lying on his head in a carrier, crib or bouncy and the back of his head grew flat.  So now he has to wear a helmet to fix it.  DON’T be that parent!  Get a wearable carrier, any carrier, and prevent this.  And know that all babies have reflux and while some babies aren’t bothered by this, others cannot handle it at all; and being upright is their happiest position.  Studies have shown being on a parent naturally calms baby.  Plus it leaves hands free to push a cart shopping!

There is a myth you should know about…the myth that swaddling baby is good for baby.  It is not.  There have been actual deaths attributed to swaddling a baby.   This information is straight from USC.  For the first 2 weeks of a baby’s life they are nocturnal, yet they still have to eat 7-8 times in a 24 hour period.  Guess when that is going to happen?  Yes at night.  Factor in, part of a baby’s natural waking process is movement, specifically movement of arms, and you get a situation where a swaddled baby goes into baby snooze because he cannot move, misses a feeding and wakes too hungry to sort out breastfeeding.  And some babies will move their body so much they will roll and if he doesn’t have free arms he can smother…(those were the deaths).   Swaddling was popularized by nursery nurses to create easy to move baby bundles.   But “baby snooze” is detrimental to a newborn trying to learn breastfeeding and his new environment.   There are wonderful baby Sleep Sacks that allow freedom of movement and warmth for baby in a crib.  Just don’t swaddle their arms!!

While we are on the topic of sleep, I would encourage you to have baby sleep as near you as possible.  This lets you get as much sleep as you can during those 2 weeks nocturnal adjustment.  The phrase “sleep when baby sleeps” works better if baby is near your bed!  Some travel bassinets are wonderful to literally put in your bed!  Summer sells one for only $20.  And some fancy cribs can be shoved next to your bed in daybed mode and be a great co-sleeper.  If you have the space.  Remember… all these tactics are there to help you get sleep while still answering baby’s needs to eat and be near you.

Bouncers, walkers, playtime mats, toys; what is good for baby?   The answer is all of it and none of it.  lol…. really!  Generations did without these gadgets with no harm.  Bouncers’ entertain baby but don’t let baby develop his neck muscles for movement.  Are walker’s better for baby than encouraging him to crawl and cruise the furniture when he’s ready?  People often think baby’s are bored when they cry out in frustration but perhaps that’s because they are mentally ready to move up in development and NEED that boredom to drive them to pursue movement.  That’s where play mats and toys help.  And yes, you’re baby doesn’t LIKE being on his tummy in the beginning when his neck muscles are underdeveloped… but how else is he going to develop them.   So lots of short repeated bursts of mat time on his front is the solution.  And if his tummy is full he won’t want to be on it either, so put a little rolled up towel under his chest when his head gets stronger.  And play with your baby. :)

Now, let’s talk formula.  Truthfully almost all formula is cow milk based.  And what they DON’T tell you is all formula also causes micro-bleeds in baby’s intestinal tract which is WHY formula has added iron!  Without it all formula fed babies would get anemic.  The “gentle” formula and “sensitive” formula is mostly marketing hype.  And it might seem to work, but there is NO scientific study that proves it.  Yes, I’m pretty anti-formula and yes I understand there are some who must have it.  But there is a lot of information that new parents DON’T get about formula before they give it that they would be shocked to know.  For instance, Dr. Nils Bergman did a study on the link between formula and obesity.  (formula is slow to digest and unnaturally stretches the stomach of a newborn…every feed, 8 times a day, for a year…yes… that will have an impact).   There was also a link between formula and allergies when they realized a newborn’s stomach lining in the first week isn’t fully sealed at birth with micro-holes that formula proteins can slide through into the body triggering early onset allergies.   And let’s face it, formula is bloody expensive!!!

Whew!   O.K…. let’s talk Breastfeeding.  Just a few tips.  First off, Mom….breastfeeding is NOT your success or failure…. it is BABY’S!  Yes, breastfeeding is completely driven by baby in a supply and demand system.  It is incomprehensibly rare for a mother NOT to be able to produce milk if her baby has a good suck and nursing 8-12 times a day with all the required wet diapers.   (Note: all newborn diapers are poop diapers…Day 1 = 1 poop diaper, Day 2 = 2 poop diapers, up to Day 7 where you’ll average 7-8 a day.)  So if it seems you’re having trouble with breastfeeding it is almost always a problem with baby… not with you!  Tongue and lip tie is the MOST common problem, but sometimes baby is neurologically underdeveloped to handle the complex motions of suckling and swallowing.  (bottles take no effort which is why getting a bottle makes going to breastfeeding difficult.)   The last stage of womb development is neurological and if baby comes out early they are often still developing this and we are needing them to breastfeed.  (But remember we are trying to avoid formula for the first week to avoid allergies so conundrum!)

But there are some techniques I learned from the Queen…(me mum)  First off: don’t use Boppy’s or pillow or sit up in chairs…recline like an empress at a 45 degree angle, put baby on top of your chest (skin to skin preferably) with baby half awake and let him move himself down to your breast to self attach.  This works his neurological development with movement and he will get on the breast in the position that works for him and do it right!   Half the breastfeeding struggles is baby isn’t on correctly or we start with a crying frustrated baby who can’t coordinate their tongue and end up doing more gnawing than suckling.  There are films on this Self Attachment method all over the internet… go watch one.   Second off:  there are cultures who isolate baby and mom for the first month.  USE THIS!  People want to see baby?…Skype.  People want to help you?…. tell them to bring food, do the laundry, clean your house… but YOU and the baby need every moment of those first 3o days to set up proper breastfeeding.  BE the Queen you were while pregnant during that time.  You have the most important job…feeding baby.   Three:  Trust your instinct as a mother.  Find a Lactation Consultant or a Doula or someone with CURRENT experience to answer all those questions you will have, because you are going to have tons of questions!

To recap… the things you MUST have are pretty simple.  Car seat, variety of newborn diaper packages & wipes, hooded towel, baby washcloths, some type of bathtub, 40% zinc oxide diaper cream, mild wash, bassinet or crib or co-sleeper (or like me with my 3rd a 6″ deep foam piece on the floor beside my bed lol), wearable baby-carrier, a detergent with no dies or perfumes (Tide Free N Clear is fine and wash EVERYONE’S clothes in it as baby will go on people), onesies, a Sleep Sack, changing pad.   Everything else might be extras for a later purchase once you get to know about this amazingly new job called parenting.

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KROQ Weenie Roast 2015

In 2014, Sex God and I went to our first Weenie Roast.  We enjoyed it pretty well, but the early bands we REALLY wanted to see were on 2 stages next to each other and short little me couldn’t see ANYTHING.  I missed seeing The Kongos who I really wanted to see and The 1975 and barely saw American Authors!    Then most of the evening artists were a bit older and boring and the seats weren’t comfortable and the food and drinks outrageous.

So…the next year we thought we’d try something different.  We hooked up my computer to my television and watched it live from the comfort of my living room.  And it was almost the best concert experience I’d had!  I could sit when I wanted to and my view wasn’t obscured.  I could dance and use LOTS of space!  There was NO line for the bathroom!  And Sex God and his friend Guy could go for In N Out when they got hungry lol.

Unless the bands truly warrant it, THIS is how we’ll be attending future Weenie Roasts!

My blog platform couldn’t hold the entire clip so I had to start a YouTube channel! lol.   Still learning THAT process….!!!!

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The Big Short

I just finished watching the movie The Big Short and all I can say is wow.  And crap.  And we’re fucked.   This movie is about the housing crisis and how it led to the banking crisis and destroyed the US economy which trickled down to the world economy.

In most of these types of things it’s a look back…had we known, disaster could have been averted kind of movie.  But in this movie its about the ones who saw the disaster and since no one would listen to them about it, they found a way to profit from it.  Actually, they found the way to profit and everyone laughed at them when they went for it.  Because they were basically betting that the US economy would tank.    And they were right.

It’s a great movie.   But,  it’s also crazy fucking scary.  Because it completely points out HOW banking got fucked, got greedy, and lost all ethics.   Worse… is seeing how badly everyone covered their own ass, kept the system as the same as possible, lied, bribed & sold their concern for anyone other than themselves to the highest payer.   And what did WE do?  WE did whatever they fed us was the “right” thing to do.  WE let them all get away with it.

Seven years later … we have the ultimate representation of Greed as our President.  And I watch him as he signs away in Executive Order after Executive Order ALL our protections from this shit.  Because Greed is tired of the restrictions.  But those restrictions kept Greed from putting $$ over our health, over the welfare of kids, over our rights.  Yet the Republican goobers think it will get them jobs and put THEM in the middle class.  How shocked will they be when more and more of their neighborhoods become Flint, Michigan.  When their food prices go up with the wall war with Mexico.  When the country goes to war and begins to kill their sons and grandsons because Greed likes making money off war.

Thank God I’m in California where we can legislate our rights back and prove to be a beacon of sanity for the rest of the country.

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The Rose Bowl Parade

Did I not ever blog about the time(s) I went down to Pasadena to watch the Rose Bowl Parade?  I didn’t!?!  Suck a slacker I am….. lets fix that right now.

As a native to SoCal I grew up watching the Rose Bowl Parade on television and while I liked the floats and was so-so  on the bands, I adored the horses.  Cuz, I was a girl…in the 70’s! Hahahaha.  But in my first year at college (1981) at the University of Iowa it turned out the football team (the Hawkeyes) apparently won enough games to go to a bowl and that bowl was the Rose Bowl (Jan 1 1982).  So about 8 of my sorority sisters (I think…it was 8, it HAS been 35 years!) decided to come out to California for the game, since they had somewhere to stay now that they had a Cali-girl in the House. :)  I think most of them road-tripped it from Iowa to Burbank and that is their own story to tell, although I remember that Tamara flew in from Chicago.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun showing them MY home town of Burbank.  Joking about how on a non-smog day it felt like the studios had put up a scenery back lot. (BEFORE regulations the air in Los Angeles was downright dangerous) They looked up at our mountains asking if a person could breath up there.  I pointed at the houses replying, “you can live up there!”   And my mother got a call from a patient (a movie star patient) who popped over so Mom could see her child.  My sorority sisters were suitably impressed. giggle.

So one of the many connections my mother had was a patient who let us park our vehicles on their vacant lot just a few blocks from the Rose Bowl parade route.  Where we ended up spending our New Years Eve night….camped out for a prime spot on Colorado Blvd.  We knew the police closed off the streets around 10pm and we were ready with folding chairs and bodies for that moment to fight for our spot facing the parade route.  Of course, so were the people across the street so we ended up acquiring a double row of chairs.  And that’s where we took shifts for the rest of the evening, alternating between sitting guarding the folding chairs (in the pouring rain), and sleeping in the van of my best friend.  I remember one of my over 21 sorority sisters buying me a flask of apricot brandy which I proceeded to sip all night long.  The entire street area celebrated in the New Year.  Yet as it got colder and wetter I remember wanting to throw a curse at every car that drove past us as we huddled under umbrellas and jackets.

I got some sleep between 2 and 5 am and then as my best friend sorority sister traded out a shift with another, I made a suggestion.   I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if we went home and got some dry clothing or towels for the rest of the group watching the chairs?  We did have a couple of hours before the parade, after all.   At that moment, in the van were my two besties, one from home and one from the sorority, so they immediately agreed and off we went.  I’m not even sure we did more than leave them a note on one of the other cars in the lot!  We dashed home and first hit my parents hot tub…. ahhhhh….the best defroster of frozen toes was a dip in 102 degree water!   Refreshed and warm we gathered what clothes/towels we could and went back followed by my parents with an industrial thermos of coffee and croissants made by another patient who was a french baker who won a national croissant contest.  Those just melted in your mouth…so good.  There was even enough to share a little with the group around us.

Seeing the floats up close was fun, when the sun wasn’t blinding us.  Seeing the horses crap right in front of us and then watching in horror as the bands would march right through that shit kicking it into the back of the legs of their fellows was unexpected.  And damn… that parade is loooooong.  But, worth it as an experience when you’re 18.

I saw it again in Jan 1999, almost 20 years later under very different circumstances.  A connection through my mother (again) got tickets in the seating for my mother, my husband, I and our two kids.  All the ticketholders had to meet at an offsite location so we could enter the stands together.  The offsite location had coffee and pastries which was good because they marched us to the seating and crammed us in there with very little ability to escape for a bathroom break or anything.  My children each sat on a parent’s lap and while the sun wasn’t in our eyes, it was also blisteringly cold, in the shade, sitting on an aluminum bench.  Even packed in as we were, I was shivering and uncomfortable.

Now in 2016 I’ve found the best way to view the parade.   On  my DVR… at a decent hour… with my coffee and whatever breakfast I’ve decided to make.  Usually alone, because my kids just don’t understand why I enjoy the floats and the horses.

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Style and Age

While I still read a lot of made-with-paper books, I’ve recently delved into e-books.  More specifically iTunes books on my phone.  It started because one of my favorite authors, Lois McMaster Bujold published a new book but only in electronic format.  My desire to read Gentleman Jole and The Red Queen pushed me into reading books on my phone and it was a pretty good experience.

So when I saw a link on Facebook to I signed up and I’ve been getting these tantalizing daily book offers ever since.  I selected authors and genre types and it sends me things it thinks I’ll like.   I view them and if the blurb doesn’t sound interesting I’ll erase the email.  Needless the say, I have LOTS of emails that I didn’t erase waiting for me to decide to download or not.  (More clutter in my life….sigh.)

A few weeks ago I was without anything I wanted to read so I downloaded one the BookBub finds.  The Song of Dragons trilogy by Daniel Arenson.  The blurb sounded very good with an interesting concept of wereDragons.   I did manage to get about halfway (I think it was halfway, hard to tell with an e-book) before I realized that this book was boring the CRAP outa me.  If I had to speculate, I would say it was written by a male in his early twenties… it’s so adolescent in it’s plot line, with little life experience and no humor.  Ironically, it’s NOT written by an adolescent but definitely by a male raised on D&D and not his first novel….not even the first in the series, even!

A Demon Bound (Imp Series Book 1) by [Dunbar, Debra]So I took another chance and downloaded a different series.  The Imp series by Debra Dunbar.  And I’m thoroughly hooked!!  I don’t know how far I’m into Demon Bound but this book is HILARIOUS and WONDERFUL and SHOULD BE A MOVIE OR SERIES!  I adore this author.  And perhaps it’s not her first novel… (and it would be sad if Song of Dragons wasn’t Arenson’s first, cuz it reads as a first) …just her most popular series, cuz it’s well thought out, with clear and interesting characters and a wonderfully interesting world.   With Demons being risk-taking hedonists pared with their nemesis the tight-assed, sanctimonious Angels, oblivious humans and other races all  interacting in modern day east coast countryside…. it is a joy to read.   And surprise, surprise, Dunbar is a middle aged (in her prime!) single mom.

I’ve always favored female writers because they tend to flesh out their stories with really interesting and real characters.  But I do have several male authors that are just as captivating in their created worlds who I thoroughly enjoy.  But as I age and become more experienced when I read a book I need a character that I can relate a bit more with.  Dunbar’s Imp Series’ character is young for a demon (under 1,000 years) but old for a human (in her 40’s) and she’s lusting after her 20-something gardener like a good Cougar would and it is SOOOOOO much fun!

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When Contemplating Marriage

Before all my readers (all 5 of you lol) get your panties in a wad, I just want to clarify that I, myself, am NOT contemplating marriage.  It was a subject that came up with a colleague and I realized I had a lot of recommended input.  So…that equals blog.

This colleague was contemplating whether she should stay in a relationship with her boyfriend who is against marriage.  Of course the answer cannot be had until one has answers to OTHER questions.   Like:

What benefits do you see in marriage that you don’t have now?   Back in the olden days, the benefits of marriage was a security of livelihood for you and your children.  It created a joint financial effort around raising kids to contribute to the success of the family.  And alleviate both loneliness and sexual needs.  Plus it was the Societal “thing to do” as a woman.  With the rise of women above 2nd class citizens; with rights to vote, work, get education and be self sufficient… those reasons are gone.  And so romantic love has replaced the reason to marry even more than it did in it’s rise over the last century.   So the benefits you may see are:  Tax Purpose, Security he/she won’t just walk away, My Parents Off My Back, Sharing of Assets (although that is a mixed good/bad benefit haha), and once again… it’s the Societal “thing to do”.

Most women seem to feel a relationship needs to “progress” and don’t analyze why or what that progression is leading to.  As girls we’re taught that “happily ever after” is when we get married.  So this “end game” is an unconscious progression.  What we are really looking for is the security of love that won’t leave.  And with today’s divorce rate that is something of a pipe dream.  Not to mention that the current “Millennial” generation isn’t so convinced it’s the Societal “thing to do”.   So the next question to ask is:

Do you understand the difference between a Soul Mate and a Life Partner?  This is a difference that is often confused and can help you navigate WHAT you want out of choosing to get married and if you have the RIGHT partner.

A Soul Mate is someone who’s in your life to help your soul grow significantly.  A Life Partner is someone who travels your life as a comrade.  MOST marriages are Soul Mate experiences.  You tend to be drawn to people who will give you something you saw in your parents marriage and this will allow you to work out those issues within yourself.  Even if it doesn’t seem like it at the pre-marriage point of the relationship you will often see both parties turn into their respective parents in some degree during the marriage and work out their issues.  If their parents marriages were loving with lots of communication and compromise this is not really a BAD thing.  But… if not.. well, you see where that is going.   And to top it off, when one party of the marriage HAS worked out those issues and the other hasn’t, then the one feels ready to leave the relationship no matter how ready the other is.

A Life Partner will not always be a romantic partner.  Sometimes its that best friend that you always turn to, or a sister or relative.  More often it is the relationship you find AFTER you’ve worked out your Marriage issues relationship.   You can tell a Life Partner love from a Soul Mate love because it’s more about enjoying the love and company of the person in the moment and there is much less “are we progressing” feeling.   Also be aware of the possibility of a mixed relationship, where HE’s feeling Life Partnerish and YOU are feeling Soul Mate-ish, and vice versa.   So you have to ask yourself:

How well do you and your partner communicate?   This is imperative.  We all know that good communication is key in a relationship.  What we don’t realize is just how it can change in a marriage.  You THINK you are communicating really well before the marriage and then watch all the issues come up and the way each of you handle it and suddenly the biggest complaint is, “she whines all the time” or “he doesn’t listen” and you don’t realize that your communication has completely changed.    And if you don’t communicate well NOW, it will NOT get better before a marriage unless you make drastic changes.

So, Number One is KNOW YOURSELF.  Analyze your motives with a lot of “why do I want this?”   Number Two is LEARN YOUR PARTNER.  Apply all your own self analysis to him and get him to join in on this with you.  This leads directly to Number Three which is Establish Regular Lines of Communication.   Make lists.  Lots and lots of lists.  Lists of your things/his things, your faults/his faults, what you bring to the relationship/what he brings, your goals in life/his goals in life….lists and lists and lists.  Not only does this help in the self analysis it helps in the communication, because you should discuss these lists.

It also helps in preparing a PreNuptual Agreement.  You will WANT one of those, you should HAVE one of those.  Because it allows you both to look at your desires for the marriage and lay out a plan for success.  And if failure happens you might have an easier time of it in the divorce.  EXPECTATIONS are a MAJOR marriage killer.  We go into a marriage supposedly with “nothing but love” but in reality BOTH parties have unknown expectations that come out.  Communication and lists help us determine those hidden Expectations.

Lastly, you should treat Marriage as a License.    Like a Contractors License with an expiration date and continuing education.  Where you have to have such and such level of experience before acquiring the License.   Because the Lists and Communication must be a constant part of your relationship if you want to keep it.

Example…   Sex God and I have been together for 6 years.  We do A LOT of talking about our feelings.  And we have little emotional spats every so often.  But we self analyze when it happens, we don’t take the spats as personal attacks and we discuss it as soon as possible.   And we genuinely treasure our time together.  We’ve been spending LOTS of time together but its been time that we’re only HALF together.  Both of us kind of doing our own thing together while the world interrupts, ect.  Twice in the last week we chose to just spend the day together.  The things we did that day were on “our list to accomplish” type of things but we did it together leisurely and the day turned into an US day.  THOSE are the days that keep our relationship vibrant.

We spend a HUGE amount of laughing on those days.  Because Sex God is my Life Partner and most of our time spent together makes each of us happy, relaxed, accepted, loved.

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“Studies Show” and genetics.

A bit ago my mother tried to visit her sister.  I say tried, because my mother’s younger sister is 70 and in a mental care facility.  And I was reminded of a statement my mother once made of how she wouldn’t be surprised if her sister had undiagnosed cancer.  After all her sister had the same tonsil treatment she did and it gave HER cancer!

See… back in the early 50’s when my mother was a kid instead of going under the knife to remove tonsils, which everyone was doing back then, HER parents had her and her sister do a new treatment which “radiated” the tonsils away.  Combine that with the bad thyroid history in my family and its not really surprising my mother got thyroid cancer when she was mid-thirty.  She beat it by having it removed and trusting her gut by NOT going on chemo.  She’s been cancer free now for 35 years or so.

The point being…  same trigger, different outcome.  Some could say its genetics.  After all my mother and her sister don’t look very much alike so there is an obvious difference in their genes….and they’re very different in personality.   So those who point to that could be right.  But me….. I think it was all the pot my aunt smoked from the age of 16 on.  I mean, hippie level pot smokage here!   And with all the studies now about how great marijuana is for medical purposes, well, may she cured her cancer before it started!

Then I was thinking about how the experts say learning music helps with math.  I wonder… if Luke had stuck with his free music lessons in violin at school, would he be better at his Algebra?   The Algebra he failed in 11th grade and 12th grade and in his first year in college?   And that made me laugh.  I played piano for 5 years as a child and I barely squeaked by with a D at the Algebra Luke is struggling through.  And I took it twice also, with the same grade both times!!   With those facts, I might surmise that bad math is genetics that my kids obviously got from me.

And on the note of genetics…..

I remember my mother telling me not to shave my legs as a teen and to just bleach it away with lemon juice in the sun.  My leg hair was dark and hers was non-existant!  So as a teen, of course, I ignored that….  But these days as I’m showering and doing the usual places for a razor, legs & pits (other parts get a quick waxing by an expert lol), I’ve noticed that my body hair barely grows anymore.  I only need to shave now once a week!     And then  it clicks.  This must have happened to my mother and that’s why she thought it was fine to just bleach the few hairs she had!  It’s menopause!  My metabolism hasn’t slowed.  It’s down-right retired!   It has given the raspberry & the finger to “the boss”, tossed all its papers and responsibilities in the air and left the building!    And THAT is one of the biggest reasons I’ve been gaining weight over the last year!   My body is no longer using energy for menstrual cycles, hair growth, hair COLOR, good nail growth, skin moisturizing & elasticity and probably a lot of other functions I’m unaware of.  The Guildmen of my metabolism have gone on strike/vacation and all that’s left is me- the Lord ruler and the Surfs of my basic system.   Sadly, the greedy Tax Collector of my appetite is still levying taxes across the board and THAT is just packing on the pounds.

It doesn’t help that I work in a retail store which makes candy bars cheap and within easy grasp!



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There are all kids of spillage in our lives…     And I’ve dealt with my fair share of it…, drink, lube, etc. But in all my experiences very little spillage had been worse than spilling my phone into a toilet.

It didn’t happen the way you think. I was NOT on my phone at the time, nor was I doing anything naughty. I was sitting there, doing my business with my phone in one hand (cuz I usually keep it in my back pocket so I take it out to NOT drop it into the toilet prepping to ‘sit’) And I noticed “something” on the toilet paper holder & thought I’d do a solid and clean it up.  And while doing that the phone slipped right out of my hands and into the water.

I leapt up instantly and fished it right out, battling the self flushing mechanism of the toilet. I dried it the best I could while pulling up my pants and watched in dismay as the screen when white & flickered.

What I didn’t know to do THEN (and I do now) was to power it completely off. I just helplessly dried it and rushed home. I knew to put it in rice, but didn’t know THEN (and I do now) that I should have NOT waited until I got home to do so. I didn’t know the rice trick was a time sensitive issue and I should have rushed down to the market section of Target and bought rice and ziplock bags. And when I got home I didn’t know I should put the phone into zip locked rice, not just IN rice.

So yes, my phone was a lost cause.

Which was an interesting experience being without a phone for two days.  I knew I relied upon it for a lot.  I just didn’t realize how much I do on it on a moment to moment basis.  For instance, I spent two days at work feeling confused about what day it was, what time it was, what my schedule was.  The phone makes my dyslexia so very easy to manage.  My own form of my family’s high anxiety, well conditioned since childhood by dyslexia is constantly questions my instincts, worried the dyslexia has me wrong.  So whenever that happens, I confirm it on my phone.  Example…

Me:   Today’s date is… the 10th… the 10th?  mmmm….yeah, I think it’s the 10th.  Are ya SURE!

With a phone I just check.  Without a phone, I question & question… & on that day, I laughed.  I’ve lived with this quirk of mine for so long I don’t let it stress me.  There have been so many challenges in my life that the minor ones just make me giggle.

So while many would freak losing their phone, I marveled at the new experience of appreciating just how much I used it for.  I checked 8 emails daily; half work, half personal, I was unable to check anything until I got home to my computer each day.  I had my calendar to remind me when I started and ended my work shifts and all my appointments ahead.  I had my contacts, and it was THOSE I realized I needed back!

See when I managed to take my phone to the Apple store, they were able to retrieve SOME of my data by linking to my iTunes account but not my contacts!  But I’d not gone in with my computer.  So after paying for a new phone ($300… ouch!) I rushed home to see if I could manage it at home.  And after a bit of searching found a backup dated a month before.  See, my phone hadn’t been able to sinc up to iTunes for months, so I had all these photos and contacts and videos that never uploaded.  The loss was sad but not nearly as sad as losing all my contacts.

But after another trip to the Apple store, computer in hand, we managed to get the backup uploaded and lo and behold my contacts were restored!!!

The true irony of the entire story was barely an HOUR before the Spillage I was bragging to a fellow employee (after seeing his banged up phone & him hearing how he’d dropped it so many times) about how my phone had been dropped at least 20 times, skidding under countless cars and “Look! Pristine!”

Gee, Fate…. did I really need a $300 lesson on being without a phone or was this a back of the head slap about being humble?

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